[LINK] Google's WiFi bungle

Graham Greenleaf graham at austlii.edu.au
Wed May 19 17:45:15 AEST 2010

At 5:25 PM +1000 19/5/10, David Vaile wrote:
>  > Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 07:22:41 +1000
>>  From: Stilgherrian <stil at stilgherrian.com>
>>  Subject: Re: [LINK] Google's WiFi bungle
>>  Personally I don't think mapping the SSIDs of Wi-Fi networks is a breach
>>  of privacy, since it IS broadcast information and it isn't personally
>  > identifiable in and of itself.

My two cents worth is that, for the Privacy Act, 'identifiable in and 
of itself' is not the test. Can it become identifiable ('can 
reasonably be ascertained') if the holder also holds (or is likely to 
hold) other data that would make it personally identifiable? If so, 
it will be 'personal information' and this is probably unjustifiable 

I say 'probably' because the collection must breach one bit of NPP1 at least:

1.1 An organisation must not collect personal information unless the 
information is necessary for one or more of its functions or 

1.2 An organisation must collect personal information only by lawful 
and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.

Whether it is 'broadcast' is not exactly the point for NPP 1, though 
David's comments are relevant for other purposes.

Stating the obvious I guess ...



PS I have not been following every post, this may well have been said 
many times over.
Graham Greenleaf   
Professor of Law  
Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales - Room 224   
UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052  Australia (UNSW CRICOS Provider No: 00098G)
Co-Director, Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)
Co-Director, Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre
Asia-Pacific Editor, Privacy Laws & Business International

International Scholar, Kyung-Hee Law School, Seoul, Korea, 2009-10

E-mail: g.greenleaf at unsw.edu.au or graham at austlii.edu.au
Web Pages -  http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham/
Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) pages - http://ssrn.com/author=57970
Tel: +61 2 9385 2233 (UNSW) +61 2 9569 5310 (Home)
Fax: +61 2 9385 1175 (UNSW) Office: Room 224, Law Faculty Building, UNSW

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